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A classic croque-madame is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with béchamel sauce and a fried egg. It’s hard to get any better than that. But at Hatfield’s in Los Angeles, chef Quinn Hatfield has improved upon the classic French dish by taking some inspiration from Japan.
His delicate croque-madame is made with grilled brioche, prosciutto, a sunny-side up quail egg and, in place of cheese, yellowtail sashimi. “If you focus on the sashimi, the saltiness of the ham plays the role of the soy sauce,” Hatfield says. “If you think of it as a traditional croque-madame, the fish has the creaminess of the cheese. As long as you have access to great hamachi, and make sure to toast the brioche, it’s not a hard dish to make at home.”